Nuts have been in the headlines recently.Some nuts,like pistachios, cashews and peanuts, are full of protein and keep you feeling full longer than more starchy snacks like potato chips.But, with about 15 grams of fat per ounce, you might wonder how such a food could be good for you. Recent research has found that almonds, one of the healthier nuts, can decrease appetite without increasing body weight.This makes them a great choice for a daily snack!
A study from Purdue University found that peoplewho ate 1.5 ounces of dry-roasted, lightly salted almonds each day showed reduced hunger and improved vitamin E and monounsaturated (“good” fat)levels, and did not gain weight. Study members were split into five groups: a control group that ate no nuts, one group that ate nuts with breakfast, one that ate nuts with lunch, one that ate nuts as a morning snack, and one that ate nuts as an afternoon snack. Meal patterns were not changed.
The study members in the two snack groups consumed nuts 2 hours after their assigned meal. These study membersshowed the greatestdrop in hunger, even though all groups ate the same amount of almonds. This suggests that snacking on almonds, instead of eating them with meals, can decrease the total calories you eat each day and help you lose weight.
How can I make almonds part of my healthy lifestyle?
Consume one ounce of nuts as a daily snack, either:
- Two hours after breakfast
- Two hours after lunch
- After you exercise
Almonds have become so popular as a healthy snack that they now come in many flavors.You can buy lightly salted, cocoa-roasted, honey-roasted, plain or chopped versions that can be added to recipes. Almonds can be eaten alone, used as a topping for yogurt or salads, or as a crunchy addition to cheeses and spreads. It’s ok to try different flavors or to add almonds to other foods, but stick to the same 1 ounce serving size!
Reviewed by Robert Ehrman, MD